The relevance of employer branding for effective HR marketing

Despite the collapse in demand on the labour market in 2020, the employment rate in Germany is already above the pre-crisis level again in the second half of 2021, according to the OECD. Highly qualified employees in particular are now even more difficult to recruit than before the pandemic. The limited orientation and further training on offer in the wake of the lockdown, e.g. due to cancelled apprenticeships and internships etc., will additionally result in a shortage of skilled workers with training in the long term.

The Institute of the German Economy identified almost 230 bottleneck occupations in May 2021. The shortage of skilled workers increased particularly noticeably among experts with a diploma, master's degree or comparable qualifications in the fields of freight forwarding and logistics, environmental protection technology, among teachers for vocational subjects, information and telecommunications technology and geriatric care. Among experts with vocational training, there is often a lack of applicants for the supervision and control of rail transport operations and in specialised areas of commerce. This development - combined with the need to recruit and integrate new employees at a distance - currently makes it particularly difficult for personnel marketing. To what extent can employer branding support with the current challenges?

Interaction of employer branding and personnel marketing

Employer branding and personnel marketing go hand in hand, yet the two terms are not understood to mean the same thing. While the HR department wants to reach potential applicants through personnel marketing, employer branding defines with which message and against the background of which strategic focus this should be done. The employer branding concept defines the image or the distinctive employer branding proposition (EVP), HR marketing communicates (through the concrete operational implementation) within the framework of the employer branding measures internally or externally accordingly. Strong employer branding can therefore be understood as a solid basis for effective personnel marketing. The common goal is to position the company as an authentic and attractive employer brand in the labour market and to positively distinguish it from competitors in the "war for talents". To achieve this, consistent communication across different channels and touchpoints is important: e.g. tone of voice in job advertisements, descriptions on the career website and social media profiles, contact by recruiters, candidate journey (including onboarding or rejection management), but also employee journey as well as employee events, internal employee information or further training/ development offers.

Employer branding and the multiplier effect

According to a recent study by SD Worx, in which 5,000 employees from Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands were surveyed, almost a quarter of German employees get their job through personal contacts. 24 percent owe their current job to their own family, friends or acquaintances. This means that the relevance of vitamin B and good networking in Germany is significantly higher than the national average of 18 percent. This shows the enormous potential that a well thought-out employer branding concept can unfold. Employers who can position themselves as a positive employer brand are recommended to others. Internal employer branding not only increases the satisfaction and loyalty of established employees to the company, but ideally turns them into testimonials and brand ambassadors. This positive multiplier effect increases the reach of recruiting and also has a particularly trustworthy effect.

The job advertisement on the company's own career site was relevant for 14 percent of the surveyed employees from Germany for a successful job search. It makes sense to use the career page as a platform for appealing employer branding and to fill it with life through interesting content. 13 percent of the German candidates were personally approached by the employer's HR department. For another 13 per cent, visiting career fairs led to success, while one in eleven found a job by using job portals.

Young academics: clear employer branding and personnel marketing provide orientation

For a significant proportion of young academics, it is unclear what the future holds for their careers. This was the conclusion of a recent survey by the recruiting and career orientation platform Jobteaser. This uncertainty has been increased by the ongoing Corona issue. While in September 2020, around 30 per cent of students were unsure of their career direction because of Corona, six months later it was already around 80 per cent. According to the study, 13 per cent (one in eight) of students experienced pandemic-related problems in the job market, such as losing their job or being turned down or put off by job offers. 48 percent of the student applicants did not succeed in finding a job. HR marketing should keep an eye on this development and actively try to contact students via the universities or various social media platforms. It can be seen as a win-win situation for both sides if the HR team offers individual advice and a variety of information opportunities - about the company, the corporate and work culture, but also about concrete career entry opportunities and the requirements behind the jobs on offer. Employer branding and personnel marketing go hand in hand here. For 58 percent of the alumni and students surveyed, the corporate culture and for 44 percent the social commitment of their employer is very important when choosing a job. According to the survey, Generation Z academics want help and guidance to overcome the current lack of orientation and perspective. Clear and consistent communication from the potential employer creates trust and gives support.

Contact our specialists at any time with any questions you may have about your employer brand. We will be happy to advise you!

Enquiries to:

Katrin Jetter (Senior Consultant)
[email protected]


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 Shortage of highly skilled workers back above pre-Corona levels
 Labour market: Two years faster than the USA? Why Germany is recovering so rapidly
 Recruitment, application process and onboarding: How German employees view their employee journey
 Recruitment: Are young talents coping with the crisis? (Study Jobteaser)





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